What is your go-to diagrams software to draw diagrams such as Entity Relationship ones?

It is really nice that one can create also non elixir topic here, so I’m taking the opportunity. ^^

I’m looking for a free diagrams software that is easy to work with on linux.
Though, Entity Relational Diagrams are my main goal. Since I’m working with Ecto I find them very useful.

I’m using currently draw.io offline version for linux but sadly I miss “comments” feature.
Other solutions I tried are mostly limited in free version or no more maintained.


Have a look at this thread @Kurisu

Is that the sort of thing you meant? :smiley:


dbdiagram is aweome and completely free


Yes thank you, I will have a look at that topic. ^^

Will definetly try it. Thanks ^^

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I use MermaidJS all the time. https://mermaidjs.github.io/#/

Can be interactive and styled as needed.

  • GraphViz for simple graphs/trees
  • PlantUML for more complex diagrams

For ERD I have written script that generates GraphViz file with ERD of the given DB.


I’m aware that my option may seem more esoteric than others, but I prefer to make these types of diagrams using TikZ. You can knock out a bunch of text-filled rounded rectangles with connecting arrows in a heartbeat. Obviously the downside is the learning curve, but the upside is the versatility—I create all of my (non-data-plotting) figures and diagrams like this—there’s very little you can’t draw if you’re willing to learn the language.

PDF manual for TikZ

[edit] One additional comment I would make is that diagramming in Latex/Tikz gives you the ability to version control the entire process, trying out various branches of the diagram in a lossless way. I find this invaluable.